I’m going to be blunt: no sugar-coating, no waffling, no pancaking, no sausaging, no baconing, no bear clawing. And political correctness be damned. Oh, and no napkinating.
So. The truth is (and this hurts) we own a stupid toaster.
I’m not saying “We have a stupid TOASTER.” That might imply “We have a normal toaster that makes very nice toast, it’s just that on the counter top where one might expect to find a gun cabinet, or a multi-tap draft-beer dispenser, someone (not me) put a stupid TOASTER.”
I’m not saying we have a STUPID toaster, easily misinterpreted to mean that instead of spending money on personal body armor or the NFL courtroom package or a trip to the Mall of America, someone (not me) bought a STUPID toaster.
I’m not saying that, even though it does look like I just said exactly that (an optical illusion.) So what am I saying? Stand back. This is going to be loud:
WE HAVE A STUPID TOASTER, IN FACT, A VERY STUPID TOASTER!
With our toaster-oven one lays slices of bread into a miniature tanning booth. One turns a dial to settings labeled, inexplicably, in both English and French: toast (grillage); bake (cuisson); hot (sacre bleu). Unfortunately, the font is so impossibly small that the settings can be read only by a flea on a seeing-eye dog. Warning: the hourly rate for a multi-lingual flea/seeing-eye dog combo is ridiculous.
I once could see the small things in life, having followed my mother’s advice to carry a pocket knife and always keep my eyes peeled. It got so I could read the Gettysburg Address engraved on the head of a toad in 4-point Arial Narrow. Being nearsighted, though, meant I couldn’t read the bumper sticker on a car 15 feet in front of me that said, I think
Toad head engraving hurts the toad (unless dead) (i.e., the toad)
One day, as an adult looking to the bigger things of life, I arranged with a passing surgeon/street performer to give me a free juggling lesson and to remove my cataracts, all in exchange for a previously-spun hula hoop and a beer to be named later. Result: I am now officially a farsighted visionary.
True, my nearsighted Gettysburg Address vision is gone (unless I’m actually in Gettysburg and have the Google maps ‘toad app’ two inches from my nose.) On the other eyeball, if I’m in Buffalo and I stand on a fruit cake tin, I can see Seattle. Warning: requires the purchase of a fruit cake, ironically illegal in New York state.
Did I mention that our stupid toaster takes forever to convert bread into toast? When you know it takes forever, you lose track of time, thinking you can do other things while forever is running its course. Like looking under your bed for someone who is hiding (not me), or reading the New York Times’s gripping “36 hours in Daugavpils, Latvia.”
When the aroma of smoking garage shingle reaches your nose you rush to the kitchen crying “Stupid toaster!” and, for good measure, “Grille-pain stupide!” But not even marmalade and a big yellow road grader can keep blackened toast from tasting like burnt Daugavpils, Latvia.
Admittedly, waiting forever for toast is not a huge world problem–certainly not in the top five. And I know that my sense of forever is not the same as the forever of someone enduring three years in a cell on Devil’s Island. Still, three years on Devil’s Island waiting for a side of toast does change the conversation.
Therefore, we now throw it open to an inquiry into when-oh-when will millions of boys and men stop wearing their baseball caps backward in their solidarity with the non-conformist call-to-arms for individuality. Hands?
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2014, all rights reserved.